Jungle
Arrow: The Complete First Season
Season 2

The new season of Arrow is set to include Barry Allen AKA The Flash in hopes of a potential spinoff series.

Now that films based on comic book characters have become perennial blockbusters (I'm not talking about you, Kick Ass 2) it would only seem natural for television networks to capitalize on their popularity.  In the past few weeks alone we've seen the premiere of the Disney funded SHIELD show on ABC and heard the news about FOX developing a series around James Gordon before Batman’s existence.  The CW was a step ahead of the competition with Arrow - an interesting take on DC Comics' Green Arrow that emulates the brooding atmosphere of recent DC films with a healthy dose of action and mystery.

The series begins with young playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell, Private Practice) returning to Starling City after a rather unfortunate event.  Oliver spent five years on an island after a shipwreck claimed the life of his father and everyone else on board.  Arriving home, Oliver discovers that his mother Moira (Susanna Thompson, Dragonfly) has married Walter Steele (Colin Salmon, AVP: Alien vs. Predator) who now runs what was once his father's company.  At the request of his mother, Oliver is now accompanied by bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey, Pay it Forward) wherever he goes.  Oliver also finds out that younger sister Thea (Willa Holland, Legion) has developed a penchant for drugs.

Oliver's only confidant seems to be his longtime friend Tommy (Colin Donnell, Pan Am).  Against Tommy's advice, Oliver attempts to reconnect with former girlfriend Laurel (Katie Cassidy, Taken).  Laurel is less than enthusiastic to see him as she blames Oliver for the death of her sister Sara who also passed away on the aforementioned shipwreck.  Undeterred by the events around him, Oliver begins his quest to fulfill his father's dying wish: to right the wrongs caused by his father and restore Starling City to its former state.  Donning a green hood, he dishes out vigilante justice and his alter ego soon attracts the eye of Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne, The River) who just so happens to be Laurel's father.

Now, since this is The CW network, the cast is required to mainly consist of attractive young people.  While this becomes a hindrance acting-wise and believability-wise for several other programs, Arrow is not affected.  Amell carries the show as viewers transition between his life as a wealthy young playboy to battling bad guys as Green Arrow to flashbacks of his time on the island.  Typically, each episode features a new baddie of the week along with new revelations about Oliver's island past.  Several characters from the DC comics realm regularly make appearances, but I'm not about to spoil that fun.

This five disc set contains several special features including deleted scenes on the majority of episodes, a feature on reimagining Green Arrow from comics to screen, a behind-the-scenes look at stunts/visual effects, footage of the cast at the 2013 Paleyfest, and a gag reel.  Although personally I am partial to Marvel (except for Batman), I was quickly intrigued by the mystery and action present on Arrow.  Fans of graphic novels or films based on comics should already be watching.  Highly Recommended.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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